Customer Experience Round-Up: April 20

Providing a great customer experience means continually evolving products and services to meet customers’ needs. That’s never been more true than in our current pandemic environment where customers’ everyday lives have been upended. Many companies are adapting what they offer and how they deliver it to provide more convenient services to customers. This week we saw three stories of companies expanding to new areas to better reach customers and continually improve their overall experience.

 Verizon Tries Its Hand At Videoconferencing

With people around the world working from home and relying on videoconferencing tools, Verizon is throwing its hat into the ring by acquiring Zoom rival BlueJeans for around $400 million. The move puts Verizon in the middle of the remote working movement and adds more options for companies looking to communicate distantly. Verizon will likely use the platform to leverage its 5G integration and distribution channels.

The biggest player in the videoconferencing space is Zoom, which has stumbled lately with privacy concerns. The door is open for other videoconferencing services, including BlueJeans. Acquiring the company allows Verizon to not only assist companies in a crisis by providing more options but also add to its arsenal of products to provide full-service solutions to customers. If customers know they can get a quality product from a brand they already use and trust, it can simplify their decisions and make their lives easier.

DTC Brand Lola Expands To Walmart

Lola, the maker of natural feminine products, has followed the direct to consumer model since its beginning. But the company will soon expand into brick-and-mortar retail with a new partnership with Walmart that will put Lola period products in 4,600 Walmart stores and online. The deal has been in the works for a long time and is moving forward during the coronavirus pandemic, unlike many other DTC companies that have been forced to slow operations in this difficult time.

Many successful companies start with the DTC model before moving to an omnichannel approach to reach more customers. Lola is in a unique position to be able to pivot during a pandemic because its products are essential. Giving women more opportunities to purchase all-natural period products helps make their lives easier and opens Lola to many new customers. Lola shows that especially during stressful and uncertain times, brands need to be where their customers are.

Shopify Opens Free Email For Millions Of Customers

This week, e-commerce company Shopify released a new email system for free to its million-plus B2B customers. The move allows those vendors to easily send template emails to their customers. The emails can be customized to share sales and alert customers of new products and announcements. Email marketing is effective, but it can be difficult for many companies to get their foot in the door, so this wide release could be the boost brands need. 

The move by Shopify could lead to more customers getting brand emails in their inboxes. Email is one of the most effective ways to communicate with customers and build personal relationships and the way most consumers prefer to be contacted. Although many of the emails from small businesses may look similar with the same templates, Shopify’s program allows businesses of all sizes, many of which are currently struggling, to better connect with customers.

These stories show the need for brands to always be evolving, but especially in today’s uncertain times. Finding ways to better connect with customers, build relationships and improve their lives will strengthen the customer experience for long after the pandemic is over.

Blake Morgan is a keynote speaker and the author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Listen to her podcast The Be Your Own Boss Podcast, here.

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